Fiery Chili Lime Rice
I’ve said it before: I love hot food. This rice is a fabulously spicy side that’s packed with flavor. Turn it into a more substantial meal by tossing in some sauteed shrimp or leftover roast chicken or pork.
This rice gets a triple kick of heat from cayenne, chipotle, and Aleppo chili flakes�and a potent dose of bright flavor from fresh lime juice,� chopped cilantro, and fresh garlic added to finish the dish.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: A note on chilis and raw garlic
If hot food’s not your thing, adjust the amount of chili to make it as hot�or not�as you like. You could also substitute a milder chili, like ancho, for some or all of the cayenne.
This dish also has a lot of in-your-face garlic. To cut that back, toss the fresh garlic in with the rice when you add the other spices. When you add it in at the end, the garlic cooks a little bit in the hot rice, but is really still very pungent.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: A note on ingredients
I make this with basmati rice, which has a really nice, nutty flavor. It would also be really good with jasmine rice, which is more fragrant and slightly flowery.
I also use ground celery seed instead of celery salt (better control over the flavor and amount of salt in the dish). If you can’t find ground celery seed in your grocery store, Penzey’s sells a 4-ounce bag for just under $3. They also sell Aleppo chili flakes.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tsp. ground chipotle
1 tsp. ground cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground celery seed (if you use celery salt, omit the kosher salt below)
kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, mashed
1 lime, cut in half
Aleppo chili flakes, for garnish
Serves 4-6 generously as a side
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Bring the rice to a boil
Put the rice in a medium-sized saucepan. Use one that has a tightly fitted lid.
Add the water to the pot. Toss in the ground chipotle, cayenne, celery seed, and kosher salt (to taste).
Give it a stir to combine. Set the pot on the stove over high heat. You want it to come up to a boil.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Prep the cilantro and garlic
While you’re waiting, chop up the cilantro and mash the garlic.
Set them aside until the rice is cooked.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Cover and simmer the rice
When the pot comes up to a boil, drop the heat to low and cover the pot tightly.
Keep an eye on it for a minute or two. If your heat is too high, it may boil over.
Simmer covered, like this, until you can’t see any liquid and the surface of the rice is dotted with air holes. When you see that, turn the heat off and cover your pot back up for about 10 minutes to let the rice finish cooking.
After about 10 minutes, uncover the pot. Fluff the rice up with a fork.
Give it a taste. It should be completely cooked through.
Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Season the cooked rice
When your rice is cooked, toss in the cilantro and garlic. Squeeze both halves of the lime over the pot.
Stir to combine well with a fork or wooden spoon. Give it one final taste and toss in a little salt if you think it needs it.
Serve garnished with a sprinkle of Aleppo chili flakes.